Van Alst
Greg Van Alst is heading to Talladega Superspeedway with the ARCA Menards Series points lead. (Greg Van Alst Motorsports photo)

Van Alst Focused On Keeping ARCA Points Lead Intact

TALLADEGA, Ala. — So far, it’s a 100 percent record for Greg Van Alst. 

No, the Anderson, Ind., native doesn’t have a win in the basket in the two opening races of the ARCA Menards Series season. Still, the seasoned veteran ARCA driver heads to Talladega’s 2.66-mile superspeedway with the points lead and an optimistic approach to the season’s third race of the season.

Van Alst arrives in Talladega already lucky.

While several teams were left scrambling to repair their race cars, build new ones or perhaps even lease a race car from another ARCA operation, Van Alst was able to briefly put his No. 35 Greg Van Alst Motorsports Chevrolet in the corner without a Daytona scratch and prepare for 113 laps of action this weekend.

“I’m so ready to go,” said Van Alst, who holds a slight five-point advantage over Christian Rose and Andrés Pérez de Lara. “We were incredibly fortunate to leave Daytona with our car in one piece. It was a huge benefit to focus on the rest of our fleet and prepare for the upcoming season rather than preparing this primary car for a Talladega return.”

A year ago, Van Alst, who pulled off an upset victory in the 2023 ARCA Menards Series season-opener at Daytona, invaded Talladega with the championship lead. Unfortunately, an early race accident ripped him of control of the championship lead, and his racing season ultimately took a different direction.

Focused on the present and not the past, Van Alst returns to the “Cotton State,” ready to get back down to business and build on a track-best 11th-place finish achieved during the 2022 season.

“This is going to be my fourth trip to Talladega, and two of them have not gone as well as I had hoped,” explained Van Alst. “This is the same car that we had last year at Talladega. It got run over early in the race and destroyed the front end of our Chevrolet. 

“We showed up to Daytona and still boasted the speed of our race car and I know we can go to Talladega this weekend and pick up right where we left off. Without the benefit of qualifying, we’ll be starting mid-pack, but I feel there will be some great cars that we’ll be able to attach with and hopefully head to the front,” Van Alst concluded.

Outside of focusing on his racing endeavors, this past weekend was memorable for the Van Alst family.

Van Alst’s son, 12-year-old Ryder Van Alst, made his late model debut at Anderson (Ind.) Speedway. The young man turned in an impressive performance on his home turf, registering a lead-lap, top-five finish.

“Ryder did an amazing job, and this is just the beginning for him,” said the proud father. “Despite being so young, his feedback is good, and he showcases the same desire and potential that I did as a young racer. I look forward to his racing future and hope to be able to see him take over the ARCA reins one day.”